Several Republican lawmakers who were behind a bill to require the state’s university system to promote intellectual diversity are questioning the size, role and cost of diversity offices.
The lawmakers, which include the House and Senate leadership, sent a letter to the South Dakota Board of Regents this month ahead of a June 26 meeting in which the Regents will consider how to implement the new intellectual diversity law, which takes effect July 1. …
The letter questions whether diversity offices are a hindrance to intellectual diversity because the diversity offices promote left-wing ideology.
“While beneficial programs for Native American students, and students of other diverse cultures should be preserved, the build-up of diversity offices which are used to promote social justice causes associated with the political left such as safe zone training, the biannual drag show, and social justice training, to name just a few, should be dismantled,” the lawmakers write.
The lawmakers estimate that diversity offices employ 31 people and cost nearly $6 million a year.
Rep. Sue Peterson, a sponsor of the intellectual diversity bill and one of the lawmakers who signed the letter, said diversity offices appear to be promoting ideology. Meanwhile, Native Americans, the state’s largest minority group, are struggling to graduate.
“Whatever they’re spending on the diversity offices, it isn’t making a very good impact,” said Peterson, a Sioux Falls Republican.
Peterson, who reviewed reports from university diversity offices, said she found references about social justice training, safe zone training and references to diversity officials overseeing university hiring practices.
“I’m not seeing anything from those offices that is helping students work in multi-national corporations,” she said.
My guess is we could double South Dakota’s savings here in the Nutmeg State if we eliminated UConn’s own diversity program, staff and administrators, all with no harm done; quite the contrary, in fact.